di Edoardo Gennarini
In the beginning of this century, soccer was a sport like so many others; afar from the mystical phenomenon of this days, it succeeded however to show his own immediateness and own adaptability to the masses still recalling thick representations of public in the handicraft stages; It has been out of doubt, after all, that soccer is a plebeian sport: plebeians are his fans, his apprentices and above all his origins (but, as its sayd, this is another history); in this context for the still rather confused, because constituted of a sport in way of development, the reality of the Nazionale Italiana moves his footsteps in the first months of the year 1898 and it completes his birth to soccer with the first apparition in international field, it concretized on May 15 1910 in the challenge to France beaten sonorously for 6 to 2. It's still a soccer of gladiators, played almost from persons devoted more to heroism than vocation, that make some annulment of the single one in favor of their country a way of living, and in fact it is really in this period that, if we succeed in turning us enough back, we find that characters, or better those icons of characters, that likes so much to the impassioned of today. It concerns men in which it is easy, rather natural, an image of devotion that today it is a model (or at least should be) for the young people fidgety soccer players to arrive to the footlight of the reflectors; to make some names the defensive trio Combi - Rosetta - Caligaris it becomes so an evident example of friendship between men that becomes strong collaboration in field between team companions ; with these 3 players we are already in the years ' 20, and it is in this period that starts to take on a shape the team mass in motion of a representative of a nation that after a period of time becomes a phenomenon of custom above all; first important victories arrive (but also heavy defeats, that temper and teach) and we come slowly to years ' 30, a decade that will be revealed to be indeed rich of memoirs for our days, with the victory of the world cup '34 and '38 and the Olympiad ' 36; it is in these years that between the names of great fame it detaches that of Giuseppe Meazza, figure-myth of the Italian soccer of every time (a real photo to deliver to the memory) but above all true champion inside and out of the field. After the war, a detour from the Nazionale is imposed for a necessary mention in the big Turin, unbeaten king of the last championships of the years ' 40 and generous distributor of elements from national; the famous tragedy of Superga not only destroys (but above all) human lives but also the dreams of thousand of fans and the hopes of the Nazionale for the whole decade ' 50, that in fact reveals to be the blackest of the Italian soccer history. A necessary exchange is imposed to the beginning of the ' 60, allowing 1968 to the conquest of the

European title that at least partly it mitigates the scorching disappointment of the elimination of Italy from the world cup '66 because of North Korea (and in the reentry in country there were for Italians... tomatoes!); it is in these years that it can be said that in general soccer completes its process of total massification like event, and sets as principal pastime for the one that it is fan in every angle of the world; a world championship, for instance, contains in oneself the totality of the possible emotions in the staircase of the feelings of the impassioned soldier like of the most dangerous hooligan, with joy and pain to do from extreme poles; it is discounted therefore that samples of technique like Rivera, Mazzola, Bulgarelli have made unconsciously load of the sum of all the hopes of the blue supporterses and, in a certain sense, departs of a soccer team perfectly in integral manner; in short, to the man of sport (and to the fan) are not conceded defections. The years ' 60 had the worth besides to introduce in painless way the ' 70, that however in substance are a repetition (however not in the results) of the preceding years, at least in the soccer players; to deliver the second place of the world 1970, after Brazil probably stronger. The years ' 80 are recent history, and surely good part of whom is reading can remember himself the triumphs of Spain '82, that open (and in every case they close again) this period of history. The world cup of Spain stays, to today, the tallest point of the blue epic, in the sign of Pablito Rossi but instead of a group that honestly didn't enjoy of any favor to the eve; but in soccer it is almost always this way. Perhaps it is really from this resulted that italian soccer starts to become account that the world, seen by the top, is smaller; in fact, also at club level, the years ' 80 - ' 90 are nearly characterized by an uniform predominance ,of Italian teams in Europe and over; this doesn't remove the partial disappointment of a third place to Italy '90 that would have owed to be a first and bitterness for a lost ending to the penaltys (never first success) in the ' 94. The wood struck from Di Biagio to the last rigor against France landlady in 1998 closes for now the chapter of the world cup, but it is clear that of histories to tell they will be us anchor, at least every 4 years. The foreshortenings of the future that are opened to the horizon today are images of radical proposed renewal (or, we should say, imposed) from who soccer commands (or, we should say, believes to command it) and that, denying conservative tendencies, feels also to contest in full; the Italian federation, has undertaken always from its song (and there is not reason to believe that it will stop doing it) to design remarkable changes but objectively feasible in the international circle, also staying, still today, subdued to rules, if not of party, however substantially ideological. It stays only to understand if this were a good or an evil.

Hall of fame

World Cup: Appearances 16 (First 1934).
Wins: 4 (Rimet Cup 1934, Rimet Cup 1938, FIFA World Cup 1982, FIFA World Cup 2006).

Euro Cup: Appearances 7 (Firsr 1968).
Wins: 1 (Euro 1968).
Olympic games: 1936 Gold; 1928 Bronze; 2004 Bronze.
International Cup: 1930; 1935.
First match: Italy 6 - 2 France, Milano (Italy), 15 may, 1910, match n.1.
Biggest win: Italy 9 - 0 USA, Brentford (England), 2 agoust, 1948, match n.167.
Biggest defeat: Hunghery 7 - 1 Italy, Budapest (Hunghery), 6 aprile, 1924, match n.42.
Most caps: Fabio Cannavaro (135).
Top scorer: Luigi Riva (35).

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